Dyslexia is a disorder that affects reading; children who have it are often quite misunderstood, and have trouble expressing their emotions about their situation because they are embarrassed or afraid of not meeting adult expectations.

In this article we will look at various activities for children with dyslexia , which apart from helping them to improve their reading skills are also effective in improving their overall quality of life. In addition, we will review the concept of dyslexia in order to dispel any doubts about what it is.

What exactly is dyslexia?

This learning disorder mainly affects the ability to read , but as side effects it has other implications; alterations in the ability to write and in reading comprehension, mainly. Sometimes it also occurs together with other learning and developmental disorders, such as dyscalculia.

The process of relating letters to their respective sound in phonemes is damaged or slowed down, this implies a limitation when trying to understand written words.

Many people mistakenly assume that dyslexia is a visual problem, when in fact it has nothing to do with it. This disorder only affects aspects related to language , and there is no organic damage in the brain that explains its presence.

Although dyslexia does not completely disappear as a child grows older, there are several ways to control and educate young children to better develop academically and socially, both at school and at home.

7 activities for children with dyslexia

The following list is made up of a series of psycho-educational resources that will help you support children with dyslexia .

1. Mastery of one’s body

It is common for younger children with dyslexia to have complications in knowing their own body; this should be the first area we turn to for help. A good idea to do this is to show the body parts in drawings, so that the child is able to associate them with labels on which the names of each part are written .

2. Help with spatial-temporal orientation

Young children with dyslexia often have trouble making spatial-temporal connections. For example, they have trouble remembering when to say up and when to say down, when to say in front and when to say behind, and the same goes for time notions such as before or after.

A good idea to improve this aspect in children consists of using playful activities with cubes , asking them to place the cubes in a specific order that we will indicate, so that through our indications the child can adequately internalize the notions of space and time.

The indications must be quite specific. For example, you may be asked to place one cube in front of another, then behind it, and then ask which cubes you ordered first, so that you can properly differentiate between before and after.

3. Encouraging the habit of reading

Generally, dyslexic children do not like to participate in activities related to reading for fear of having to face their limitations . It is essential that we take care to help the child overcome this fear and help him or her to become more involved in reading.

The idea is that together you can start reading and analyzing the text read. The right way to read to a child with dyslexia is to tell him step by step what is happening in the story while asking him questions about what he thinks might happen next. The aim is for the child to leave the fear of reading behind and become more actively involved in this activity

Once we have finished telling the story, we can ask you to search for main ideas or to tell us a different ending for the story.

4. Crosswords and wordsearch puzzles

It is important that children do not feel forced to do things right by an adult imposition, or because they feel they must meet all the expectations we place on them. To do this, we must add a playful component to these activities for children with dyslexia, something that reveals that learning and progressing at each step is not the only purpose of these actions.

Word games, such as crossword puzzles and wordsearch puzzles, among others, work well for children to learn as they play.

5. Spelling words

Spelling helps kids with pronunciation and the order in which they should arrange the letters. It is recommended to do it as if it were a game so that the child doesn’t feel pressured or angry when he or she doesn’t do it right .

6. Rhyming activities

Helping them to rhyme words is a way for them to make their own associations between the meanings of different terms. You could ask him to use words he knows and try to rhyme with some new words you give him in writing .

7. Meaning and synonyms

Synonyms are another way to get the child to begin to familiarize and internalize the correct use of relating letters and phonemes. We must let the child tell us what the words we are indicating mean to him or her. We can use the words from the reading material used at school.

Bibliographic references:

  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Fifth edition. DSM-V. Masson, Barcelona.
  • Roca, E.; Carmona, J.; Boix, C.; Colomé, R.; López, A.; Sanguinetti, A.; Caro, M.; Sans, A. (Coord.). (2010). Learning in childhood and adolescence: keys to avoid school failure. Esplugues de Llobregat: Hospital Sant Joan de Deu.